Style Melbourne

Made in Melbourne

What better way to spend the Saturday night of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week than at a homegrown designer showcase.

Caro kicked off the show with popping colours and bold designs. Bright pinks and greens and strong tribal patterns gave character to rather understated, no-fuss designs. Basic shift dresses were de rigeur, and very-mini or very-maxi dresses showed there’s no room for middle ground when it comes to hemlines.

Mina and Katusha paraded several items from their earlier collections, in the same monochrome palette they’ve used to build their brand. The bow mini-dress and waterfall tops have obviously been popular enough to win another run in this spring/summer collection. The neutral theme was punctuated by splashes of coral, but a black and white mini dress with panels of unaligned stripes was a quirky standout.

Borsha showed a collection of strong, wearable styles and chaotic explosions of colour, showing the label isn’t afraid to experiment. Borsha’s maxi dresses were an eclectic mish-mash of fabrics and colours, blending paisley, sequins, floral and bold geometric prints into a single anarchic design.
One purple and pink creation seemed inspired by a children’s fairy costume gone into overload.
The label’s more conventional numbers had a strong focus on the view from behind, with backless styles and back-ruffles featuring prominently.

Lisa Taranto stayed true to their style as seen at the Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival earlier this year. Designs were restrained and ladylike, using lots of black and white. Ruffles and layers of fabric gave the collection a feminine appeal and ribbon-tied backs were a nice styling detail. Sequinned or lacy yokes added that touch of glitz or elegance to the dresses, showing off the strong structure of the styles with the restrained adornment.

Neo Dia punked up the parade with shredded and slashed styles. A jacket that seemed all preppy style and clean lines from the front had a bit of extra edge with a slashed back contrasting the style. Neo Dia had an adventurous and experimental use of shapes and volume – a show favourite was a skirt with fanning squares of fabric creating a concertina-like, sharp-lined volume.
The brand broke away from the traditional silhouette with dresses and skirts structured with protruding round shapes to emphasise the hips, or the side of the body.

Marion Liese’s designs caused a bit of a stir until the crowd realised the collection was lingerie. Liese’s cheeky and nippy designs harked back to the days of Old Hollywood glamour. The structured bustiers and bras and silky slips and petticoat frames had a burlesque appeal with lots of girlie detail. Ruching, roses and ribbons prettied up the sheer, sexy styles.

Silk and Ink certainly captured the zeitgeist that is the Mad Men phenomenon, showing 1950s silhouettes made modern with bold fabrics.
Blue trousers with white piping were a masculine touch among the full-skirted sundresses. A deep purple shirt and skirt combination was the colourful standout of the collection, as well as one dress that showed metallic shoulders needn’t just be for winter when paired with bright, summery blue.

The diversity and contrast of each label’s style made for an interesting showcase of up-and-coming local designers.

That the Made in Melbourne show was also a benefit for the McGrath Foundation was incentive enough for many show-goers to pack the room. Each label donated a piece of their spring/summer collection to a silent auction in aid of the McGrath foundation – a move that shows the substance behind the style.

Borsha - MSFW: Made in Melbourne

Lisa Taranto - MSFW: Made in Melbourne

Neo Dia - MSFW: Made in Melbourne

Pretty prose by Stephanie Anderson

Inventive images by Christos Pavlidis

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